We feature a lot of impressive and elaborate conference badges here on the Hackster blog, and the work that goes into designing and making them is astounding. But those badges can also seem overwhelmingly complex if you’re new to badges, or even PCB design in general. That’s because they often contain detailed artwork in addition to the components needed for functionality. That’s why you may want to start with something more straightforward, and Gavon Fantom’s CCCamp badge is the perfect example.
Unlike most of the badges we post about, this piece of hardware is meant to do only one thing: display text or graphics on an OLED screen. That could be your name, your online handle, your company’s logo, or whatever else you want. There isn’t any fancy artwork, and that keeps the PCB design straightforward. That makes this badge ideal for beginners to replicate, as you can focus on general PCB design fundamentals instead of jumping right into the somewhat tricky arena of PCB art.
A badge like this can be made in a number of ways with a variety of components, but Fantom chose to create this particular badge around an NXP Semiconductors LPC1115 microcontroller with an Arm Cortex-M0 processor. The screen is a 0.96″ 128×64 pixel OLED display with a common SSD1306 I2C driver. There is a MCP73831 chip for the LiPo battery charging, and an NCP115 voltage regulator for the power circuit. A five-way button allows for navigation and control. The code that Fantom wrote for this badge even includes an built-in text editor so the name tag can be modified at will. If you’ve been considering designing your own badge, this is a great reference.